The CEO of a Connecticut-based company that does business with several high-profile U.S. sports and convention venues is under fire for an elevator-security video that shows the man abusing a dog by kicking and jerking the leash of the animal.
Centerplate is a food service provider for stadiums, including Tropicana Field. The business also lists the Florida State Fair as a client.
The video became viral after the incident was reported.
Hauge released a public statement, saying: “This incident is completely and utterly out of character and I am ashamed and deeply embarrassed.”
The Rays also released their own statement, calling the video unacceptable and disturbing.
“The Rays organization, our players and front office employees have deep-rooted involvement with animal shelters throughout the Tampa Bay region and are proud to support them. We have spoken to Centerplate and we are confident they will handle this issue in an appropriate manner.”
According to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, after this incident was reported, workers from the Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals checked on the status of the dog and found it in a crate in a puddle of its own urine.
The SPCA has taken the dog under its care.
Some local animal rights activists have called on Tropicana Field officials and the Florida State Fair to break ties with Centerplate and find a new food service provider.
“We have been made aware of Mr. Desmond Hauge’s actions,” said Fair officials. “And we are currently taking this matter under consideration.”
Centerplate’s Board of Directors recently convened a special meeting following the completion of an internal investigation and review of the incident.
The company released a statement saying as a condition of his continued employment with Centerplate, Hague will donate $100,000.00 towards the establishment of the Sade Foundation in honor of the dog he mistreated. He also will serve 1000 hours of community service in support of an organization that serves to protect the welfare and safety of animals.